Saudi and UAE delegation meet on Socotra to discuss tensions
SANA’A – A Saudi-led mediation team that recently arrived on the Yemeni island of Socotra has held its first meetings with Emirati occupation forces and representatives from the Saudi-backed Hadi regime, but so far to no avail. This was reported by Al Jazeera.
The delegation met with Hadi regime “prime minister” Ahmed bin Daghr on Friday, who personally came to Socotra in order to negotiate with the UAE forces. The first meeting between bin Daghr and the UAE representatives, mediated by Saudi Arabia, has ended without concrete results, and tensions are expected to remain high.
The rift between the Saudi-backed regime and the UAE has grown even worse since the Emiratis landed over 100 armed forces on the Yemeni island without informing Riyadh first, seizing the airports and harbours of Socotra.
When the Saudi-backed regime demanded an explanation, the UAE merely answered that it had “historic and family ties” to Socotra island.
Socotra is a UNESCO World Heritage site, boasting a unique biosphere with flora and fauna entirely non-existant anywhere else in the world. However, reports have it that the UAE has been economically exploiting the area at an alarming and ruthless raid recently. Many inhabitants of Socotra are reported to be furious at the increased troop deployments, noting that it serves no military purpose for the war itself, and is likely just another Emirati plan to increase their influence over the Arabian Sea area. The United Arab Emirates has vested imperialist interests in the area, and have already constructed an illegal military base in nearby Berbera, in the Somalian province of Somaliland.
Ironically, the Saudis and Emiratis are officially still allied with one another, as member of the coalition of aggression that invaded Yemen in March 2015. Hadi and bin Daghr are still serving the interests of the Saudi kingdom, with Hadi even being confined to his residence within Saudi Arabia. However, this has not stopped conflicts of interest from occuring between the two invading powers.
Armed clashes between Saudi-backed and Emirati-backed groups and militias has been flaring up for months all over occupied Yemen, particularly in Taiz and Aden. The UAE has been supporting certain South Yemeni separatist groups that seek to divide the country in half, which goes directly against the wishes of the Saudi-backed militias.